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Anxious gatekeeping

Analogous to nervous cluelessness is something we might call “anxious gatekeeping.”   This is desire to police the borders of poetry, or of...

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Got Prose?

Almost everything I do professionally involves writing. The few things that don't consist of reading other people's writing, or engaging in oral communication of some type. If you can't write well, you have a huge handicap that will hold you back in most humanities fields. If write superbly well, you will have an advantage over other people. This single factor is so huge that I wonder why we don't just make that the whole focus of the first year of graduate school.

3 comments:

Mark Scroggins said...

Amen. & Amen again. So far as I know, only a single faculty member at my program ever made an issue of our ability to write. I think in 6 years of graduate school I got only one comment on my prose style (which boiled down, said "lucid to the point of stupidity").

Jonathan said...

"lucid to the point of stupidity" is marvelous. I'm going to steal that phrase for another post.

Frog and Toad said...

I feel better for constantly dogging my dissertation students about their writing style. I crank a lot of them through *Style: 10 Lessons in Clarity and Grace.* They only thank me for it way later.